"I have hamsters and they eat bread."

Translation:Eu am hamsteri și ei mănâncă pâine.

November 18, 2016

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Is "ele" for the plural third person hamsters acceptable here because we don't know the gender of the hamsters or because animals can always be both masculine and feminine?


plural for ”hamster” is ”hamsteri” without a clear reference to male hamsters or female hamsters. It could be any of them or a mix. In such cases you take the assumption that the gender is the one of the plural word (in this case masculine) Therefore a Romanian would use ”Am hamsteri și ei mănâncă pâine”. The other form accepted as correct by DL ”Am hamsteri și ele mănâncă pâine” would be VERY strange for a Romanian although not incorrect if referring to female hamsters.

Same for ”sunt oameni și EI mănâncă pâine”; ”Eu am cai și EI mănâncă ovăz”; ”Eu am pești și EI stau în acvariu”; (you assume only males although there could be also females) ”sunt feline și ELE mănâncă carne”; ”Eu am pisici și ELE beau lapte”; (you assume only females although there could be also males)

Once you have supplementary information about the gender you can change the pronoun accordingly: ”actrițele sunt oameni și ELE mănâncă pâine”; ”Eu am iepe și ELE mănâncă ovăz”; ”Eu am caracatițe și ELE stau în acvariu”; ”Leii sunt feline și EI mănâncă carne”; ”Eu am motani și EI beau lapte”; ”Am hamsteri femele și ELE mănâncă pâine”


"Am hamsteri și mănâncă pâine." I have met this phrase in the multiple choice task. And it is different from the translation that is given here. I wonder how it is possible to make a part of a sentence without a subject.(I have hamsters and (they) eat bread?) Is it correct in Romanian or is it an error?


Unlike English, where most verbs conjugate very simply and don't change depending on the pronoun (I eat, they eat, we eat, you eat,) in Romanian you can normally infer the pronoun from the verb ending. So you can correctly drop the pronoun as long as it doesn't make the sentence ambiguous. (In this case it's obvious from "mănâncă" you are talking about the hamsters, because the only other object in the sentence is you (I have...) and that would be "mănânc".). Actually including the pronoun when it's not needed is a form of emphasis (I have hamsters and they eat bread - maybe in response to someone who claims hamsters don't eat bread.)

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